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What You Missed – Jan. 11-18, 2016

Campaigns are picking up speed before the first caucus in two weeks, a President made his last State of the Union Address, prisoners are released from Iran, and another pop culture icon has died. We’re here to break it all down for you.

Cruz, Trump fight war of words in Republican Debate

Cruz, Trump fight war of words in Republican Debate

In a debate hosted by the Fox Business Channel held in Charleston, South Carolina on Thursday, seven Republican candidates answered questions on terror, foreign policy, and the economy.

Billionaire frontrunner Donald Trump faced off with Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who is currently in second place in most polls for Iowa, and first place in the most recent Des Moines Register poll, over Cruz’s birthplace and whether or not Trump exhibited “New York values.”

In an attempt to show themselves as the establishment alternative to Trump or Cruz, Florida Senator Marco Rubio and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie fought over Christie’s record as governor and a Senator’s ability to “just talk and talk and talk.”

The next Republican debate is scheduled for Jan. 28 in Des Moines, Iowa, hosted by the Fox News Channel.

Sanders and Clinton get heated in Democratic Debate

Sanders and Clinton get heated in Democratic Debate

In the fourth Democratic Debate hosted by NBC and Youtube in Charleston, South Carolina Sunday, the fighting between Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton heated up.

Sanders, Clinton, and former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley talked guns, Wall Street, healthcare, and foreign policy.

Clinton and Sanders clashed heavily on Wall Street, where Sanders slammed Clinton for taking $600,000 in speaking fees from Goldman Sachs, which was fined for its role in the 2008 financial meltdown.

Clinton returned fire saying Sanders has voted for the NRA by backing gun rights activists and legislation in Wasington DC, despite his low evaluations by pro-gun lobbies.

The next Democratic Debate is scheduled for February 11 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, hosted by PBS.

Four American prisoners released by Iran

Four American prisoners released by Iran

In a day that showcases “strong American diplomacy,” President Obama hailed the returning of four American prisoners in Iran, just days after US sailors captured by Iran were released after straying into Iranian waters.

Three of the prisoners freed, pastor Saeed Abedini, former Marine Amir Hekmati, and Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian, arrived in Switzerland on Monday, January 18 2016 on the way to Germany to receive medical checkups.

The final prisoner released, Nosratollah Khosravi-Roodsari, elected to stay in Iran.

Obama said today that “these things are a reminder of what we can achieve when we lead with strength and with wisdom.”

President Obama calls for unity in last State of the Union

President Obama calls for unity in last State of the Union

In the President’s seventh and last State of the Union Address, President Obama strayed from the tradition of asking for legislative action by Congress and instead gave an address about the future of America.

Obama detailed an America which he says is endangered by forces which wish to indulge in gridlock, fear, and is in the control of the rich and powerful. However, he remained hopeful about the change going on in America, saying that embracing and not fearing change would lead to a strong America.

He also did not mention the American sailors who had been captured by Iran that day, feeding Republican criticism of the address.

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley gave the official Republican response to the State of the Union, criticizing the President’s performance but also calling for Americans not to fall for “siren calls of the angriest voices” due to disappointment of the state of Washington politics.

Glenn Frey dies at 67

Glenn Frey dies at 67

The founding member and guitarist of the rock band The Eagles died Monday at age 67 from complications due to rheumatoid arthritis, pneumonia, and acute ulcerative colitis.

In November the band was unable to take part in the Kennedy Center Honors ceremony, citing his health issues.

Frey and the Eagles are known for hits such as “Take It Easy,” “Hotel California,” and “Desperado.”

Frey was called “the one who started it all” by former bandmate Don Henley. “He was the spark plug, the man with the plan.”

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